Friday, October 08, 2004

US Elections

I have a poster on my cuibicle that urges Americans to vote on election: "Bush V Kerry: You decide, 6 billion people await your decision" Now this is a homemade (handwritten) attempt to urge Americans to vote. So one of my colleagues comes up to me the other day and asks me: Why do you care about the election? and being that part of the reason the poster is on my desk, is so that someone can ask why I have it, I excitedly ask him to sit down and I delve into my reasons for caring.
Well here goes. For one, I blame my grandmother for this (God Rest her Soul and I do not really bleme her), I remember when I was a little turk during my school breaks, when I would visit my Grandma in Limuru (small town in Central Kenya), now she was not literate and could not understand an ounce of English, so I had to be her translator. Every night at approximately 7 pm and again at 9pm, I would be asked to sit down and watch the news, and one of the first question would be: What did Bush do today? (in reference to Bush I), from this labor,I fell in love with news and slowly developed a love for politics. So one of the reasons I care, is that I am a geek who likes news and politics.
However, there is more. I split this segment into two: Personal and Policy toward Africa and the world. Whoever is at the White House affects me in a couple of ways, I am a legal non-resident alien in America, I am student at an American University, I work, and I pay taxes. Therefore the policies of the government will affect me, the president can make it harder for me to get a Visa, tighten the rules that govern my stay in America, raise my taxes and restrict my work opportunities, and if possible affect my school fees, moreover, I have to follow all the laws of the land. With this in mind, one can see that I have a great stake in the election, I have the concerens of your typical American college student and then some.
In addition, to the personal side of things, I care about the president's policies toward Africa. Will the president continue to back trade opportunities with Africa, support debt relief, increase funding for AIDS, play an active role in conflict resolution, increase aid to the continent etc, the list is long. All these are issues that are important to Africans, those who care about Africa and to myself.
Whoever is in the White House affects me one way or the other and will affect the rest of the world one way or another. However, I do not have a voice in the election and it really pertubes me when folks (48% of all the electorate) do not bother to vote. The election should matter so much more to you than it does to me, I wish you could be in my shoes, having so much depending on someone, that you had no chance to vote for. It sucks.
So on November 2, go out there and vote. I know that you may be too busy, may feel your vote will not count and all those other wonderful excuses, but please by God vote.


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